Thursday, September 17, 2009

2009 Season underway

As I mentioned in my previous post the 2009 season is underway for Bear, Grouse, Archery Deer and Archery Elk. It is proving to be a season to remember.

My sister tagged a fork-horn Whitetail over at her property to go along with the Bear her husband harvested which by the way was delicious!

Bear Backstraps!!! A little salt and pepper and you have yourself some fine eating!

Not everyone realizes how good Bear is as table fare. For those who haven't tried Bear before you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the best beef you've ever had and a properly prepared Bear steak. The sausage is also VERY good. No need to add a bunch of pork fat either, this time of year they come with plenty of their own.

While out scouting our place I came across a lot of bear sign this time. There are at least two bears - one of which is very large based on his scat (I'll spare you the picture) , tracks and witness accounts. Their eating a lot of Kinnikinnik right now which I guess is pretty fattening. Lewis and Clark described Kinnikinnik as a insipid and I would tend to agree though the First Nation's people ate them.

A very common plant in this area.

I spent a few hours each day scouting and hoping to get a shot at some Grouse. Anytime I was near the creek I would kick up one or two but never had a good shot. It is obvious that the gene that made them only fly a short distance to nearby cover has been culled out of them by my efforts in previous years. These guys would flush and not land until well out of sight or ear shot...

I didn't see the bachelor group of Whitetail bucks I've seen regularly earlier this year. I did see an Whitetail doe with a fawn and a spike that may have been her previous year's fawn browse through near the creek. I have not seen many Mule Deer in the area. Perhaps the Cougar cleared them out of the area last year. I found three Cougar kills on the property last year, all Mule Deer does. Two of them had fawns so I suspect they didn't make it either.

This is one of the kills I found. I had noticed the drag marks through the brush the previous month but it didn't occur to me at the time that it was a Cougar kill until I found the other kills the next month. When I went back I found another Deer, mostly complete skeleton, the coyotes had unburied it and they, the birds and the bugs had it mostly consumed by then.
The weather was quite warm, even at night the temperature stayed above 50*F. The daytime temps reached the upper 80s. Summer-like. I suspect when it begins to get colder many of the patterns I observed will hold. Still it was very enjoyable to get out and have a look around.

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